Thursday, January 19, 2017

Duping Our Readers (But in a Good Way)

Strange that it was a TV ad that gave me this idea. And a cheesy ad at that. But it stuck. Anyway, I was watching MeTV the other night (which was begotten from TV Land, which was begotten from Nick at Nite, which was begotten from Nickelodeon, as far as classic TV goes), when a commercial popped on for a way to receive free TV on your TV set (do they even call them TV sets anymore? Showing my age here). Just a little larger than a thumb drive, it plugs either into the TV's cable connection or USB port, I couldn't tell which.

Now, here's the deal. Of course, they show lots of happy folks plugging that little rascal in, and they're all happy, watching these beautifully rendered shows. And they've given it a catchy name--FreeTVKey--but it's just a tiny little digital antenna, folks. And I'm betting it's not going to get good reception unless you're sitting right on top of a broadcast station.

But it got me thinking. Look what they did there. They used the word 'free' (we all want something for free, right?), along with the word 'key' to form an association. A powerful association. Remember, that words are potent little building blocks, and certain words carry strong connotations. Like 'free' and 'key'. So, let's play around here. In this era when there's more cable cutting, we'd all like to be 'free' of our shackles to the cable companies, right? What 'unlocks' shackles? A 'key'.

Perhaps I'm stretching things to make a point, but you get the idea. As writers, word choice is important. Which words work best together? How can I keep my readers on the edge of their seats? How do I keep them turning the page to find out what's around the...

Uh huh. You get the idea. Now, to clarify, when I used the word 'duping' in my title, that's an emotionally-charged word. And no one wants to feel duped. But as writers (and readers) we do want suspense...tension...then release...then...

But, wait! There's more...

For a few other posts on word play, click on these links:

 Keep writing, friends.

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